links for 2006-10-31

links for 2006-10-30

The environment

A few connected thoughts.

The environment, climate change, and global warming are the talking point of every politician and news organisation at the moment. I get the feeling that there has been a “tipping point” reached and we might actually be making some progress here. Not sure what the trigger event was, maybe Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth has had something to do with it but does it really matter?

Speaking on An Inconvenient Truth we finally got around to seeing it on Sunday afternoon. If you have not seen it do so. Personally I found it a great movie and I think Al Gore put together a great presentation that should appeal to a vast majority of people. The movie gets you thinking, “what am I personally doing to help the environment?” There also a blog, and a great ad on You Tube:-

Next thought, this week the WWF released a very interesting report, their update to Living Planet Report 2006, and they have had lots of press around the world. Australia has faired very badly in the report, with the 6th largest ecological footprint! Australian’s are using 6.6 global hectares per person per year we are only behind United Arab Emirates, the US, Finland, Canada and Kuwait, but above New Zealand, UK, Russia, China and Japan. Australia is also the 13th largest water users per person between 1998 and 2002, this is NOT included in the WWF footprint analysis for a number of reasons. Take a look at the full report.

The report also goes on to discuss what could will happen in the future and provides a number of options to reduce our demand on the planet. In a scenario called “Business As Usual” if we do nothing by 2050 our demand for cropland and CO2 generation will have increased by 60%, demand on grazing and fishing by 85% and the use of forests by 110%! We would be in debt to the plant for around 34 years of complete biological production! Guess what it confirms we need to reduce our footprint to a level that is sustainable.

The report also covers our footprint growth in the last 40 odd years. In 1961 our Global Ecological Footprint was 4.5 and the planets capacity was 9.0 (global hectares), in 2003 our footprint was 14.1, capacity 11.2. Under the 3 different scenarios to fix the problem by 2050 with “business as usual” the footprint would be 23 to a capacity of 11, “slow shift” a footprint of 16 compared to capacity of 13, and “rapid reduction” a footprint of 12 to a capacity of 13. Very scary!

What can we do?

Al Gore provides us some great tips on his Climate Crisis site, including a carbon calculator which unfortunately only cover the US. But his 10 tips are great really simple to implement and should be your first step. Sign up at show your support. You can also listen to Treading Lightly a podcast about the environment.

So back to the question what am I doing, me personally and my family?

  • We only own 1 car, and that one is powered by LPG
  • We recycle
  • We have 100% green power, again
  • We walk instead of driving when we can
  • We catch public transport to work, I am looking to ride to work as well
  • We live in a townhouse with no unnecessary garden to water
  • We only use vinegar, ammonia and bi-carb soda to clean the house with, exception being the dishwasher
  • We have a low water usage front loader washing machine
  • We eat as much organically grown produce as possible, we have a box delivered once a week. We have also been reducing the amount of red meat we eat.
  • We have signed up at

Now what do you do?

Google tweaks its hiring process

I kind of think that Google is becoming just like everyone else.  They are adjusting the process just a bit, is this in response to candidates going else where or a recognition that they need to grow faster, ie put on candidates as greater speed?  Or is it as the article suggests they are transitioning from a start up to a traditional company?  Probably both.

At the end of 2003 they had 1,628 employees, now they are at around 9,378!  A growth of 7,750 employees in just under 3 years.  Basically they are doubling their headcount every year. 

They have increased their hiring rate from 13 employees/day to 16 employees/day.

They have slightly reduced the average number of interviews from 6.2 to 5.1.

Some of the other changes:-

So far, Google is experimenting with changes, such as additional short questionnaires for applicants and different interview formats. The company is also considering trying out an abbreviated hiring process, which would allow it to make an offer to some candidates after just two interviews.

Google is also moving from a format in which interviewers provided candidate feedback using free-form text and could give only one overall score to a format in which they offer targeted feedback grouped around four attributes (Google declines to name them) and multiple scores rating a candidate’s knowledge, skills and abilities.

They are also making it harder now to work for them.

In July, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt told analysts the company was “able to now in fact increase the standards by which we select and hire new people.” While Mr. Bock says it’s hard to say specifically how Google has raised the bar, he adds that his own team is looking for people for human-resources jobs who “can be promoted four, five, six times” and that other departments also hire people who are overqualified for the specific position they’re recruited for. Mr. Bock says that the company’s brisk growth means that the scope of any position generally expands rapidly.

Over the next 12 months it will be interesting to see the changes at Google as they transform into a traditional company.

Some other interesting statistics, with nothing really to do with recruitment but interesting all the same. 

Google are on track to break US$10 billion in revenue for the year.  Their stock is at US$480, up from a 52 week low of US$331, their market cap is now US$146.33 billion, with a P/E of 70.24.  From a cash position they are rolling in it!  At the end of 2003 they had US$148 million at the end of the last quarter they were standing with a cash reserve of US$4 billion.  (I could be wrong here, not the best at reading financial reports.)

Microsoft on the other hand has revenue around US$44 billion, stock at US$28.4, up from a 52 week low of US$21.46 , market cap of US$283.65 billion and a P/E of 23.79 and approximately 71,000 employees.  They also have about US$6 billion in the bank, down in the last 2 years from about US$15 billion.

One final note Eric Schmidt Google Chairman sold US$28,607,802 worth of stock on 26 June this year!  Ok it was all through indirect holdings but I reckon he got a bit of that 28 million dollars.


Checkout Las Vegas jobs at NV Job

Are you missing an iPod?

If you are missing an iPod David Berlind may have it.

Last week, I found a beautiful, sleek, black video iPod. It’s one of the 30GB models that looks very much like the one pictured to the left. The owner of this iPod has been taking very good care of it by keeping it in a case. My guesses are that the owner lives in the New England area and flew on United Airlines on or about October 9th or 10th.

 Pity it is not mine it looks like a nice one. offers the latest on internships and entry level jobs.

Long time no hear?

It has been a few days since I last posted, sorry.  Been a bit busy, mother in town, attending the Melbourne Arts Festival, blogging at work, sick and our cat died :-(.

Anyway I am back again look for a few posts in the coming days.

Tom Reynolds unemployed corporate blogger

Last Friday Tom Reynolds was let go from Telstra, which by itself is not a big issue, people get let go everyday.  Where this little story gets a little interesting is Tom is a blogger, and not just a personal blogger but a corporate blogger on Telstra’s site called Now We Are Talking.  Ok could be touchy but not a really big PR issue.  Wrong!  2 days prior Tom had just written an inspiring post on how he was going to start working to open up the communication between Telstra and their customers, through his blog!  Oops.  Tom was talking about Scoble’s Laws of Corporate blogging, a fantastic list of 20 things you should do while corporate blogging.  Unfortunately Tom now feels Scoble is a fool (is that a bit of link bait Tom? ).

Now there is a slightly funny smell coming from Telstra.  Was his post the reason?  Telstra are saying no, others are saying yes a typical he said she said.

Two points of note.

Firstly no mention of the issue in any of the Now We Are Talking blogs, ok maybe no one sees this as a big story?  Only a few references right now in Technorati.  Rod Bruem took the time to comment on Cameron Reilly’s post, it would be good to see a post from him on the situation, but they might be a bit busy with other PR issues.

Second point, your HR processes and blogging in my view the big issue here.  There has been a bit of talk over the last couple of years about employee blogging policies in Australia, ok the lack of them.  Eventually we will see them, but what about your other policies, ie termination.  How do you let someone go in a manner that does not damage your brand, as has happened (or happening) with Tom?  Are your manager’s trained in how to handle this? 

The story has been picked up by’s blogs, and other notable Aussie blogs.  I wonder when the tipping point will be and there is a formal reply from Telstra?

Overall, if you are going to have employees who blog make sure you know how to handle them within all of your processes!  Make sure you also know how to handle to blogosphere as well.

Shhh, want a job?

I got an email, come press release, this morning from Gayleen Robinson about a service for job seekers called QuietAgent, normally I read these types of messages and sit back and wait.  Wait why, to see who else has got the email and read their view points.  However today I felt given title of the email I would type out a quick post:-

New Zealand software company partners with

Now that’s cool.

QuietAgent is a product from StaffCV, a New Zealand based software development house (if they become REALLY successful they will be called Australian, just like Russell Crowe).  It seems to be a very similar model as and others, put together a great big database of job seekers and get some employers to look through them, find a match and approach the job seeker.  The job seeker has all the power, accept or reject the approach without ever giving their personal details to the employer. 

The business model is becoming more common, employers pay on success, ie when a job seeker releases their personal information to the employer.  The difference here is the amount.  Only $10 or $20 depending on the type of hire, student vs non-student.  This means for any given role QuietAgent would make around $120-$200 per non-student role, better revenue than a traditional job board.

One downside, the employers interface seems to only work with IE, so no love to Firefox users!


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